The Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center (HVCC) has started a joint-digitalisation project with the maritime technology company Wärtsilä and the cruise group Carnival in order to help ensure reliable ship arrivals and more efficient ship handling and port logistics.
As a central, neutral and cross-company coordinating unit, HVCC has been optimising vessel traffic into and out of the Port of Hamburg for over ten years and, in the past year, it has coordinated the arrival of over 3,200 mega-ships into the port.
Alongside Wärtsilä and Carnival, HVCC has now further developed its passage planning and has tested a one-of-a-kind digital solution for just-in-time ship calls.
This has allowed for the direct, real-time data exchange under real-world conditions between port and ship to be realised for the first time.
Gerald Hirt, managing director of HVCC, said: “HVCC has always attached great importance to the developments of collaborative digital solutions.
“For us this means ‘passage planning 2.0’ – a further step towards intelligent ship coordination and the digitalisation of port logistics.”
The first live tests were carried out on cruise ships that regularly call at the Port of Hamburg, the M/S AIDAperla and M/S AIDASol.
During these tests the data shared between HVCC and Carnival Maritime’s fleet operation centre in Hamburg was fed directly into the cruise ships’ electronic nautical chart (ECDIS) via the Navi-Port digital platform developed by Wärtsilä.
The continuous, dynamic, real-time data exchange aims to improve coordination and allows for automatic modifications to a ship’s course and speed in case conditions at the port change during a voyage.
Following the successful tests in the cruise segment, there are now plans to expand the project into cargo shipping.
There have already been talks held with container shipping companies and with approximately 3,000 seaports and 100,000 commercial vessels around the world, the potential for further networking is enormous.
Wärtsilä Voyage’s director Torsten Büssow said: “Wärtsilä’s approach is aimed at eliminating wasteful practices in shipping operations. Close collaboration between industry stakeholders is a key enabler.
“Once again, this project shows what can be gained when the industry works together in a transparent and cooperative way.”